Sunday, December 11, 2011

Xmas Tree

Our Xmas tree is here - sourced from a local farm and 'just' fitting in the house. Cats are a bit too interested....

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Another day... another robot!

Earlier today my second robot was delivered. Whilst the trusty Roomba has been hoovering our floors for the past few years, the new Navibot has a few modern tricks up its sleeve that will probably see Roomba banished to upstairs. For starters it intelligently maps the room with a camera, so it cleans more effectively (not just random patterns). It is also quieter, less 'bumpy' to things around it and can cope with a bigger space as it will return to base, charge and then resume where it left off.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's the last day of Movember - and as such may I present the office Mo-Team. TOBvember (as it is called) has raised nealry £3,000 so far. If you want to donate then hurry along to

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kitchen stools

Bar stools turned up for the kitchen this morning - very easy to assemble - and look pretty good. Luckily the white is the same temp as the kitchen too - phew!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kitchen - almost there...

Fridge delivered on Sat, table and chairs in from garage. K's bit 'EAT' sticker on wall (Swedish style apparently). This is pretty much the finished item. Tiny bits and pieces left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fridge - and free ROBOT!

Ordered our new fridge - Samsung RSG5UUMH - am looking forward to auto-crushed ice for cocktails :) However, it gets better... the site I bought it from has a promotion whereby I get a free Samsung SR8855 robot vacuum cleaner. WIN!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Kitchen approaching the end...

Was sent this last night to show progress (K is at home, I am away on business). Seems we are approaching the end with final touches such as the cooker hood now in place. New bar stools come next week which should finish it all off nicely.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Google Galaxy Nexus

My next phone? I think so - presuming it ever comes out (delay after delay at the moment). Have ordered from Amazon just in case it ends up being physically too big for my liking (an easy return). Should be dispatched early Dec.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Dracula's Castle

The Romanian QA team and I set off this weekend for a road-trip to Dracula's Castle in Bran. After a 5 hour drive we stayed in a rented house and spent the evening drinking palinka (ouch). The castle is quite impressive - despite S, C and I having a sneak preview the evening before ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I am in Romania for the next couple of weeks. So far so good. Beer is very cheap and the apartments are great. Lots of photos on my flickr stream...

Friday, October 28, 2011

EFS 17-55 F/2.8 Broken!!! :(

My EFS 17-55 broke the other day - one shot was fine, and then in the next the IS was going from max deflection to min deflection at top speed. Only way to take photos was to turn it off. Luckily I have a MACK international warranty. Lens is now with Canon UK being repaired.


Flooring is mostly in now and for the first time we can imagine the finished look. We were a little unsure as to the colour of the oak, but it turned out to look fantastic.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


You may notice my upper lip becoming 'fuzzy' this month... well, it is all down to Movember - a charity event with the aim or raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. Pop along to find out all about it - maybe even throw a few quid its way...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Kitchen worktops are now installed. They are a black quartzite with silver fleck. Goes very well with the steel appliances. Sink is now in and working - along with the Quooker (hmm, I can have coffee again). Next step is to finish the island off and then put the flooring in...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wall units...

Wall units are up - and don't they make a difference! You can really get an idea of how it will look once finished. Flooring goes in next week...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ovens and templating...

Definitely getting closer - we now have working ovens and the stone masons have been around to template for the worktops. We've even got electricity to the draw servos which has given me hours of fun...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Base units...

More progress - ceiling lights and base units are in and we are working out the final location of the island. Actually starting to feel like a room now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Painting starts...

Plaster is now dry enough to start painting and to cut out the light holes ready for our massive number of spots. The guys have also started to bring in the kitchen units - and even managed to get the washing machine in. Dryer is however broken from too much moving :(

Sunday, October 09, 2011


I spent the weekend in Brighton, and whilst I was there the kitchen was plastered. House now smells VERY damp. Trying to air it out with windows and doors open - but it is not the warmest of weekends... brrrrrr!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Door gone...

Yesterday the doorway was bricked up and the majority of the new plumbing was installed. Won't be long before we put up the ceilings and plaster the walls...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Kitchen continues...

First fix almost done. Walls and floor chiselled away ready for plastering and levelling. Next step is to brick up the doorway nearer the front of the house - and change the boiler and plumbing :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kitchen - gone - replaced with hole!

Our first weekend with no kitchen. No sink, no ovens, no larder... nothing but a microwave and a credit card for eating out. Had a small hitch this week with WREN - doors for cupboards and drawers still nowhere to be seen. Vented anger at manager this morning - he has promised resolution and money back :) K threatening to take me to IKEA for inspiration - I think it will just make me miss having a working kitchen even more. At least I might get a hot dog I suppose... more pics linked in title.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wall Down!

Just received this from our builder - the wall is pretty much down and this is the first look at our new space.... AWESOME!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Floor arrives...

There has been a flurry of activity this week. The Quooker, Boiler and Flooring have all turned up. The later being on a pallet which meant having to move it piece by piece inside.

Old kitchen is half out and one ceiling is down. Work continues tomorrow with the main wall coming down as well as the second ceiling. Should give the place a somewhat minimalist feel. Hopefully new boiler in place before the weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More kitchen arrives...

Today the main kitchen units turned up. Nice thing is that they turned up first thing this morning and were off the lorry and in the garage in 10 mins. Not so nice thing is that they forgot all the doors??!!! Nothing is ever simple hey! WREN are chasing the missing doors this very moment, but even they seem confused :(

Sunday, September 11, 2011

More kitchen...

The second part of the new kitchen turned up... this Best Gemini kitchen hood is a large doughnut of white aluminium with a fan in the middle. Seems to have come in the biggest box ever for something not actually that big. Spent the day moving most of downstairs upstairs...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

L&R's Wedding

Had a great night at L&R's wedding, with the rain holding off just long enough from the ceremony. It was set in L's mum's beautiful garden with a huge marquis. The live band was great (especially the bassist) and the speeches massively funny. More photos linked in title. Congrats guys!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kitchen - ordered!

We've finally done it and ordered the new kitchen. An all high-gloss white design with auto-servo drawers, black quartz tops and plenty of kitchen-gadgetry. We now have to order the new flooring, the white goods and a new boiler. Work commences in 3 weeks!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

G&S's Wedding - in France!

K and I went to France this weekend to G&S's wedding. The event was staged in beautiful surroundings in a small French village near Chataeudun. We drank lots of champagne, visited a Ch√Ęteau, ate far too much and had a great time. More pics linked in the title...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Tomorrow is gong to be a sad day - a very sad day. My number one subscriber to this blog (yes, I have ways of knowing) is leaving for pastures new. As you can see from the pic to the left he is a very intelligent chap - and as such is off to become a Doctor! BT is an interesting guys - almost every day I've learnt something new about him from the work kitchen whiteboard. For example - apparently he looks like Smithers from Simpsons, he once cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats (but finished in Devon) and no matter what the topic of the day is - BT has an opinion
and/or a fan club (I suspect the latter). So - good luck B - this blog will miss you! I am sure the comments section on this post will now fill with many interesting BT related items ;)

UPDATE: he liked it so much he had it framed!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Kitchen Build Commences...

First item for new kitchen has been purchased - a Smeg 75 hob. K likes as it is shiny shiny. Have still got to get ovens, fridge, hood, sink, taps.. oh, and the kitchen itself! This will be our biggest house mini-project yet.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Insomnia 2011

Yes - it's back and I'm doing it. A 12-hour night race through the deepest, darkest, most dangerous woods in all of Kentshire. Please visit the link below and donate if you can - BHF are a great charity.

UPDATE: Thomsons Online Benefits (my employer) is matching donations up to £500 - thanks guys!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


18 hours there, 16 hours back - what a drive! We are now converted Chunnel lovers (Sooooo much easier than the ferry). Had a great week with the family in the summer house - even managed to catch some sun. My Swedish needs work still... (more photos linked in title)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Logitech z506

My PC speakers stopped working this morning - not bad seeing as they are over 15 years old. Having real trouble finding suitable replacements though - have settled for some cheap Logitech ones until the perfect set finds me...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sonisphere 2011

J, B and I just had a great weekend. We not only had full weekend tickets but managed to blag VIP tickets too allowing us to relax in a private tent with its own drinks, food and facilites. Highlights of the weekend incude Megadeth, Metallica, Paradise Lost and Bill Bailey :) Also got my yearly quota of crowd surfing out of the way - small nose injury this year :( More pics linked in title...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bathroom nearly done...

After two weeks the bathroom is nearing completion. Main hardware is in and only the last bits of electrics and the grouting is outstanding. Then it's just left to me to programme the TV, bath and underfloor heating..oh, and paint the ceiling and remaining walls!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bathroom TV Test

Here's the hardware test run. I've threaded cat5 and coax cable to the attic from the server room and have hooked up an AppleTV along with the Sky+ box. All seems good :) Sound quality much better than expected and Sky+ control is flawless. Can't wait to install it now...

P6180001 by rakh1

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bathroom TV

Got talking to the builders last night about my TV dilemma and the hassle to fit it. They talked for a bit and then came up with a way to get it in the wall with less hassle than I expected - as such I'm going ahead with it and we'll have a nice little 19" telly in the bathroom ;) Made by Sonos, with sky digilink built in, floating waterproof remote and induction speakers!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yorkshire MBK

A few of us headed oop north this weekend for some proper mountain biking. The weather held for the most part and we had some fantastic rides (including a 7km downhill!). Was happy to get out of the Landrover though after 4.5 hours in the back with all the bags!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Bathroom ordered...

After an expensive week we have now finally gotten all the various parts ordered for our new bathroom - work starts next week! We've gone for Aqualisa HiQu shower and Bath (with a computer controller for each), an IKEA double sink unit, grey tiling and underfloor heating - oh, and the coolest towel radiator we could find! The funky mosaic tiles to the left are going as a splash-back behind the sinks...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Sofa

After 17 weeks of waiting our new sofa finally made it from China and was delivered. I was given a 7 hour delivery window and of course it came during the 30 minute period that I was on a conference call :( Anyway - it's here now and looks great... just need to keep the cats off it now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

J's 40th - in Cornwall

To celebrate J's 40th birthday, A and I went to Cornwall for the weekend. There was much celebration (once we left Newquay) and some near death experiences (for A) when we tried some land-kite-surf-boarding on a nearby beach. Despite the near death a good time was had by all and there was even some sun to enjoy our Rick Stein fish and chips with. More pics linked in title.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Merc - new brakes

Yay - it's been ages but I finally got round to pulling a car apart again. OK, no massive modification here - just a straightforward brake replacement - but nice to get my hands dirty anyway and saved ~£150 compared to having Merc do it for me!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vibram Fivefingers KSO

Well, if there are good enough for Sergey from Google then they're good enough for me. Going to try these as my next set of trainers and see what they're like. Downside - needed new socks too!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nick and Britta's Wedding

IMG_3184-2 by rakh1
Just got back from a fantastic wedding. The rain held off (long enough) and we even managed a BBQ in the evening. N&B had a great time - photos linked in the title...

Walkera V120D02

Whilst my 4G6S is in repair I've ordered one of these - it is flybarless which means more simple to fix and more fun to fly. The best bit is that it shares most of its parts with the 4G6S and uses the same transmitter. Should be here later this week...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4G6S Rebuilt (again)

Another crash and another rebuilt later. This time I borrowed some parts from the V120D02 bin, which gives a nice red canopy and more importantly, a taller tail fin to stop those tail strikes. Ready for flying this weekend!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Went for a great late afternoon ride today - highlights include a 32mph 'both wheels fully locked' skid nearly missing a tree on a newly found patch of downhill, and a great mile long downhill path on the way home... made it up 'Impossible Hill' too :)